10 Reasons to Love Montreal

Move over, poutine. Sustainably minded eateries, natural attractions, and unique artisanal shops are the new stars of this Quebecois city.


1. Supply Siders

The menu descriptions at Lawrence ("chanterelle tart"; "smoked mackerel with celery root, apple, and bacon") don't trumpet the ingredients' provenance, but it's deliciously clear that the owners source the best of the best from local farms. 5201 Blvd. St.-Laurent, lawrencerestaurant.com

2. Joe to Go

Track down Dispatch Coffee, a cruising truck from which barista Chrissy Durcak brews perfect lattes and allonges using local milk and organic beans purchased directly from farmers. dispatchcoffee.ca

3. Ocean Keeper

At Kaizen, chef Noam Gedalof (formerly of the French Laundry) treats diners to inventive yet refined sustainable seafood: uni in nasturtium soup, for example, and olive-oil-poached wild sockeye wrapped in zucchini. 4075 Rue Ste.-Catherine Ouest, 70sushi.com


4. All-Season Playground

Frederick Law Olmsted's Mont Royal Park has more than 500 hillside acres thrumming with activity -- from hiking to tobogganing -- all year long. lemontroyal.qc.ca

5. Zoo Trotting

The Montreal Biodome is split into five ecosystems, enabling visitors to watch penguins dive into a subantarctic sea one minute and then gaze at anacondas chilling in a rainforest the next. 4777 Ave. Pierre-De- Coubertin, biodome.qc.ca

6. Indoor Escape

Canada's oldest art institution, the Musee des Beaux-Arts Montreal, offers free admission to its permanent collection. Don't miss Rodin's marble masterpiece The Sirens. 1380 Rue Crescent, mbam.qc.ca


7. Jam Session

Make an appointment to visit Camilla Wynne Ingr at her Preservation Society atelier, where she whips up small batches of locally coveted -- and highly giftable -- preserves, jams, and pickles. 29 Rue Beaubien Est, preservationsociety.ca

8. Browser's Delight

Billy Mavreas and Emilie O'Brien stock Monastiraki with unique furniture, folk art, anatomical charts, and whatever else tickles their fancy. 5478 Blvd. St.-Laurent, monastiraki.blogspot.com

9. Green Emporium

Everything sold at Galerie CO -- from the high-end vases to the woven recycled plastic chairs -- is ecofriendly and fairly traded. 5235 Blvd. St.-Laurent, galerie-co.com


10. A Hipper B&B

Organic linens and farm-fresh breakfasts complement the throwback charm at the stately Casa Bianca, across the street from Mont Royal Park. From $149 a night, 4351 Ave. de l'Esplanade, casabianca.ca

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